duck5

procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Vale Arthur C. Clarke



checking the tv guide, i noted with sadness that Arthur C. Clarke has died.

i have much to say on him, see here, here, and here. in his writing he has greatly shaped the way i think of science fiction versus science fact, and he has given me much cause to think, with regards to his humanistic thinking.

i am especially fondly reminded of the Asimov-Clarke interaction, particularly manifest in the Asimov-Clarke Treaty, whereby Asimov would dedicate his books, "from the second-best science fiction writer, to the second-best science fact writer."

a recent collection i picked up, Report on Planet Three: And Other Speculations (1972), showed just how broad his interests and areas of expertise were. the way he describes the richness of his life in his adopted home, Sri Lanka is particularly colourful.

he is someone i would have loved to meet.
i'll wrap up this post with his three laws (an obvious act of one-up-manship to Asimov),
  1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
laws cut and pasted from here

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